Inadequate Management of Procurement Activities at Five Federal Prisons

GGD-79-93: Published: Aug 24, 1979. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1981.

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Problems were found during an examination of the management of procurement activities at five institutions in the Bureau of Prisons: Atlanta and McNeil Island Penitentiaries, Ashland and Englewood Federal Correctional Institutions, and the New York Metropolitan Correctional Center. There is no assurance that the five institutions procured only those goods and services necessary and adequate to operate during fiscal year 1978. Managers purchased what they wanted without documenting and justifying their needs. As a result, they spent large sums of money for questionable procurements, particularly near the end of the fiscal year.

The five institutions did not follow Bureau procedures for planning procurements. Little evidence was found that the institutions made continuous reviews, reports, and adjustments to insure that sufficient but not excessive supplies were purchased for each quarter. However, the institutions generally gave significant consideration to filling their needs from Government sources before procuring goods on the open market. The methods and procedures used by three institutions to make procurements over $10,000 did not always assure full and adequate competition. The institutions reviewed did not maintain adequate internal control over procurement.

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